As February comes to a close, we creep closer and closer to spring break, which usually falls between March and April in the U.S. Not sure where to go? We tapped travel sites Expedia and Hipmunk, who gave us the lowdown on the most popular spring break destinations in the U.S. this year. While some spring break staples unsurprisingly made the list, a few destinations either gained or lost popularity, leaving them shining bright or just hanging on. So for those still trying to figure out where the crowds will be -- either to beat them or join them -- here's where folks are flocking this spring.
Appearing on both Expedia’s and Hipmunk’s list for the most popular spring break destinations, Las Vegas remains a perennial favorite for friends, couples, and even families. In addition to affordable flight options, Sin City is home to hotels for every budget — and type of traveler. Not interested in gambling? Don’t cross Vegas off your list just yet. From poolside loungning and live performances to celebrity-chef restaurants and wild nightclubs, this desert oasis offers a variety of activities. Come March, the notorious Vegas pool parties pick up again with a rowdy crowd. However, even those on a budget will have plenty to keep them occupied, thanks to the city’s fun and free attractions.
Las Vegas Hotel Pick:
Spring in New York City can bring unpredictable weather (do you pack scarves or swimsuits?), but that doesn’t stop people from visiting. World-class museums, iconic landmarks, gorgeous parks, superb shopping, and an excellent food scene are just some of the draws that make the Big Apple a top destination this time of year and beyond. And although a trip to NYC doesn’t come cheap, there’s lots of free sights and events, from tours of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to yoga at Socrates Sculpture Park.
New York City Hotel Pick:
New Orleans appears on many spring break lists — and you can bet Mardi Gras has something to do with it. The popular street celebration, which marks the last bit of indulging before Lent, always takes place 47 days before Easter. While that often falls in February, this year (and next year), it happens to be during the early weeks of spring break. This could explain why the Big Easy ranks higher on Hipmunk’s list this year, breaking into the top three, and also why it appears as one of Expedia’s trending spring break destinations. Aside from all the beaded madness, New Orleans is still a great choice for spring break, thanks to its fascinating history, tasty Creole food, ghost tours, river cruises, loads of live music, and of course, warm weather. Plus, partiers can take advantage of the lax open-container laws and potent cocktails.
New Orleans Hotel Pick:
It should come as no surprise that Miami shines across all spring break lists. This southern Florida gem is a hot spot all year round, but it especially lures winter-worn folks from the north around March and April, when the warm temps dip into the 80s. From the happening scene in South Beach to the art-centric Wynwood neighborhood, Miami is the ultimate city-meets-beach getaway. It’s stocked with all the necessary spring break essentials, including delicious food, lively nightclubs, great shopping, street art, craft breweries, and fun-in-the-sun activities that go way beyond the beach. Feel free to grab a few ideas from our .
Miami Hotel Pick:
In 2017, Orlando became the first U.S. destination to pull in over 70 million annual visitors, making it America’s most-visited city. Then, last year, AAA named the city the most popular spring break destination. This year, you’ll find Orlando among the top 10 on both Expedia’s and Hipmunk’s list. Unsurprisingly, the city’s theme parks — which include Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, Legoland, and more — are huge pulls for families who visit in droves during spring break.
Orlando Hotel Pick:
Over on the west coast, Los Angeles rakes in spring breakers in search of warm weather, beautiful beaches, nature hikes, celebrity sightings, and stellar style. There’s something for every type of traveler, whether you’re heading to Malibu or the downtown Arts District. The good hotel and flight deals offered during this time of year don’t hurt either. Want to up the hip factor on your vacation? Check out our list of cool hotels in Los Angeles that should be on your radar right now.
Los Angeles Hotel Pick:
San Francisco didn’t make the cut on Expedia’s list, but it did manage to cling to Hipmunk’s top 10, despite falling three spots from sixth place last year. In addition to its interesting neighborhoods, the city offers tons of outdoor activities, including biking, picnicking on Alamo Square, wandering the wharf to see the sunbathing seals, taking a ferry to Alcatraz, and simply walking up and down the hilly streets. Check out our full travel guide for more on what you can expect in this laid-back city.
San Francisco Hotel Pick:
Honolulu made the top 10 on Hipmunk’s list of most popular spring break destinations this year, and Oahu as a whole graced Expedia’s trending spring break destinations list. What’s great about Hawaii is that once you’re there, you can feasibly island hop, splitting your time between at least two tropical islands over one spring break. Jet lag will be an issue for anyone, but the sandy beaches, fruity drinks, and laid-back vibes will put you at ease in no time.
Honolulu Hotel Pick:
Located just 20 minutes north of Miami, Fort Lauderdale has enough interest on its own to warrant a spring break visit. While Miami may be the Magic City, Fort Lauderdale is where you go when you’re looking for a sunny spring break filled with lots of beach time and no commotion. You’ll have access to craft breweries, great shopping, and tasty food here, too, but the vibe is much more relaxed.
Fort Lauderdale Hotel Pick:
Spring is a popular time to visit Washington, D.C., as the city is filled with fun, family-friendly activities. From the iconic landmarks, like Lincoln Memorial and White House, to the National Cherry Blossom Festival held in March and April, to the city’s world-class museums, including the National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian American Art Museum, there’s a lot to pack in an itinerary. There are also plenty of properties that cater to families with kids, only enhancing this city as a spring break destination.
Washington, D.C. Hotel Pick:
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